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Old ECs, getting LOR from old college career/out of workforce, and physician shadowing for non-trads

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stayathomemom

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I have a few questions.

My undergrad extended from 2001-2004. Would my ECs from way back when still "count"? They included:
  • Volunteering in an ED
  • National Residence Hall Honorary (Historian 1 year, President 1 year)
  • Resident Assistant, 2 years (not sure if this is an EC or work experience)
  • Hall Government
There's probably more that I can't remember, will have to literally rifle through my memory box to refresh my memory :dead: But in general, how old is too old for EC's? (I do have recent ones.) I also had (MANY) hours of clinical volunteering and medically-relevant EC's in high school which I wish to include, but I've heard that was verboten on the AMCAS. What do you think?

Other questions, regarding LORs:
  • I graduated 13 years ago and have been mostly out of the workforce since then. I may be able to reach out to two professors whom I worked under, but never took classes from. Would a LOR from them count? I don't think any of my actual professors remember me, or are even still alive.
  • Also, I've had a long-term volunteer position in a leadership capacity (women's Bible study coordinator for my church, where I work with a few other women to pick curriculum, organize volunteer leaders, plan meetings/sessions, sometimes teach and counsel). I volunteer approx 3-4 hours/week during the school year in this capacity. In lieu of a LOR from a non-existent employer, can I submit a LOR from the ministry director I work under/with?
Last one: Does anyone have tips for getting in touch with doctors to shadow under? I don't have the privilege of having a university-sponsored network/program to reach out to physicians.
 

gyngyn

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Using high school experiences is especially problematic for non-trads. We will expect to see recent evidence of commitment to service.
Letters from religious supervisors may be particularly helpful at religious schools.
 
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esob

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I have a few questions.


Last one: Does anyone have tips for getting in touch with doctors to shadow under? I don't have the privilege of having a university-sponsored network/program to reach out to physicians.

- This, IMHO, is the hardest part of the whole process unless you are willing to take a scribe job (assuming you don't already work in healthcare). I'm at a big state school (30K+) and even there, they don't help with connecting you with shadowing. Every other premed I know got their shadowing by taking a medical job that put the in contact with doctors, which led to shadowing. I posted on the NextDoor app and happened to have a physician in my neighborhood that got me some shadowing, and then through luck, another non-trad doc moved to my town and has been gracious enough to help me out with shadowing hrs. I've spent the last week emailing and calling docs with no response (and most were quality leads, ie, recommendations from friends who shadowed those docs in the past). I think it is one of those things I will look back at when I'm a physician and hopefully be in a position to provide shadowing one day to another non-trad student.
 

Goro

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  • I graduated 13 years ago and have been mostly out of the workforce since then. I may be able to reach out to two professors whom I worked under, but never took classes from. Would a LOR from them count? I don't think any of my actual professors remember me, or are even still alive.

You might be better served to take some new classes and get LORs from those faculty. I sure have trouble remembering my students from 13 years ago (except the worst ones!)

  • Also, I've had a long-term volunteer position in a leadership capacity (women's Bible study coordinator for my church, where I work with a few other women to pick curriculum, organize volunteer leaders, plan meetings/sessions, sometimes teach and counsel). I volunteer approx 3-4 hours/week during the school year in this capacity. In lieu of a LOR from a non-existent employer, can I submit a LOR from the ministry director I work under/with?
It won't impress me all that much. And many schools want LORs from Faculty only

Last one: Does anyone have tips for getting in touch with doctors to shadow under? I don't have the privilege of having a university-sponsored network/program to reach out to physicians.
Start with your own doctor, and/or start doing some clinical volunteering and network with the doctors you meet.

You need to have non-clinical service t others less fortunate than yourself as well. Figure 150 hrs in each venue (clinical vs non-clinical).
 
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stayathomemom

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  • I graduated 13 years ago and have been mostly out of the workforce since then. I may be able to reach out to two professors whom I worked under, but never took classes from. Would a LOR from them count? I don't think any of my actual professors remember me, or are even still alive.
You might be better served to take some new classes and get LORs from those faculty. I sure have trouble remembering my students from 13 years ago (except the worst ones!)

  • Also, I've had a long-term volunteer position in a leadership capacity (women's Bible study coordinator for my church, where I work with a few other women to pick curriculum, organize volunteer leaders, plan meetings/sessions, sometimes teach and counsel). I volunteer approx 3-4 hours/week during the school year in this capacity. In lieu of a LOR from a non-existent employer, can I submit a LOR from the ministry director I work under/with?
It won't impress me all that much. And many schools want LORs from Faculty only

As far as taking upper-level courses, if it is a course I'm retaking, not to improve my GPA but because you recommended I do it and it helps to refresh for MCAT, can I audit it, and ask for a LOR? It was a wild idea until I realized that I don't think students auditing a class actually do any work, so an LOR wouldn't really make sense. I'm not sure because I've never audited a class. (It's a 400-level biology class.) Also, do you look down your nose on upper-level classes that are online-based?

Also, to expound regarding the "two professors I worked under", I actually worked with them beginning in my junior year in high school and all through my undergraduate degree, so 4+ years. I was one of the few undergraduates working for them, and by far the longest. Does this change your opinion, despite the length of time that's passed?

Thank you for your help.
 

Goro

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As far as taking upper-level courses, if it is a course I'm retaking, not to improve my GPA but because you recommended I do it and it helps to refresh for MCAT, can I audit it, and ask for a LOR? It was a wild idea until I realized that I don't think students auditing a class actually do any work, so an LOR wouldn't really make sense. I'm not sure because I've never audited a class. (It's a 400-level biology class.)

If you're auditing a class, you're not taking any assessments. How is the professor going to assess your ability to handle difficult material? or your learning aptitude?

Also, do you look down your nose on upper-level classes that are online-based?

We don't like online classes and a number of med schools do not accept such classwork.


Also, to expound regarding the "two professors I worked under", I actually worked with them beginning in my junior year in high school and all through my undergraduate degree, so 4+ years. I was one of the few undergraduates working for them, and by far the longest. Does this change your opinion, despite the length of time that's passed?

That was then, this is now. You, the 35 year old you, need to show me that you can handle med school NOW, and not the 21 year old you.
 

esob

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I think its the hardest part for introverts. Extroverts with naturally large social circles typically have a few doctors they know and its not too awkward to ask someone you know moderately well.

Guess I'm an introvert then since I didn't know any doctors personally before I started this process; that, or the math simply works out that the average person has a roughly 50% chance of knowing a single physician that they actually have a social relationship with.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Last one: Does anyone have tips for getting in touch with doctors to shadow under? I don't have the privilege of having a university-sponsored network/program to reach out to physicians.

Do you have a PCP? I’ve gotten shadowing opportunities from my personal physician and from my kids’ pediatrician.
 

stayathomemom

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Do you have a PCP? I’ve gotten shadowing opportunities from my personal physician and from my kids’ pediatrician.
I don't; we just had our insurance switched from an HMO (Kaiser) to some PPO. So we've all had to get new doctors. I haven't been in for anything yet. But I've had to find my kids a doctor, and she's awesome. She's a DO. Does shadowing a DO matter if I'm applying to an MD school?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I don't; we just had our insurance switched from an HMO (Kaiser) to some PPO. So we've all had to get new doctors. I haven't been in for anything yet. But I've had to find my kids a doctor, and she's awesome. She's a DO. Does shadowing a DO matter if I'm applying to an MD school?

As @Tiger Tank said, shadowing is shadowing. It doesn’t matter if it’s an MD or DO. And you don’t need a letter from them unless you’re applying DO, to USUHS, or maybe a handful of MD schools that require it (if there are any other than USUHS). Your kids’ doc is the perfect place to start. She will most likely let you shadow, or if not, will be able to give you the names of some docs who will. Hit her up!
 
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